Little girl playing with toys

Toys can be expensive, especially these days when almost everything is electronic. Follow these tips to save money when toy shopping for your kids.

Shopping for toys
on a budget

Set up email alerts

Get notifications from your favorite stores about sales and other specials by signing up for email alerts through their websites. Don't limit yourself to big-box stores and major toy shops. Smaller shops and online retailers also have email lists to tell you about sales. Before you buy online, look for coupon codes at sites like RetailMeNot and Slickdeals to make sure you aren't missing out on a possible discount.

Consider used toys

All your kids' toys don't have to be brand-new. You can find great deals on used toys on Craigslist, eBay and FreeCycle. Neighborhood garage sales, estate sales and consignment shops also often have used toys at discounted prices. Clothing resale stores for kids' clothes usually have a section for toys as well.

toysHold a toy swap

Get together with a few moms who have kids about the same age and hold a toy swap. People do clothing swap parties all the time, and the same can be done with toys. Bring some of your kids' gently used toys that are no longer favorites, and swap them for some "new" toys they'll love.

Sign up for flash sale sites

Flash sale sites aren't just for women's clothing anymore. You can find everything from home decor to kids' clothing, gourmet food to toys on these websites. Remember that on flash sites, quantities are very limited -- so act fast. You can find discounts of up to 80 percent on toys from sites like Totsy, Zulily and Gilt Groupe.

Go old-school

Instead of buying all the latest electronic toys all the time, introduce your kids to more basic toys and games. You can find many of the same toys that you had as a kid, from Etch-a-Sketch to Mr. Potato Head, still being made today at affordable prices.

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